Thursday, November 17, 2011

G is for: Green Bean Casserole {with homemade ingredients}

Some of you may think it's gross, but Green Bean Casserole is one thing I can't get enough of at Thanksgiving. It's seriously like crack for me. We always have to make extra, and sometimes we have to make a second batch just to go with the leftovers.

For the longest time, I just did the standard recipe. I'll give you a hint...it involves a lot of cans. A can of fried onions. Cans of green beans. Cans of condensed cream of mushroom soup.

But since I now try to avoid canned ingredients whenever possible, it was my mission this year to recreate this recipe with fresh ingredients.

(update 11/7/13: I've made this the past two years, and my family loves it! Planning to make it again this year, so I updated it with a couple new photos).


Let's start with the green beans. That's the easy part. Trim and cut into 2 inch pieces. Boil green beans in chicken broth for about 10 minutes. Reserve about 1/4-1/2 cup of the broth for later, and drain beans. (You could actually reserve all of the broth and use it in other recipes like stuffing, etc).


Next up...the fried onions. I decided to use shallots since they are the perfect size to replicate the ones you get in the can. You'll need about 3 large shallots. (About 2 cups sliced).


Thinly slice shallots and separate. Soak in one cup of milk for five minutes. Remove from milk and place in a gallon Ziplock bag. Pour in the seasoned flour, seal bag, and shake to coat shallots.


Heat safflower oil (or other oil with high smoking point) over high heat. Fry shallots (in two batches if necessary) for about five minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and season with salt while they are still hot. Try one to see how delicious they are. Then try a few more. Then put the plate out of sight so you don't eat them all. (Do-ahead step: fried shallots can be made the day before and stored in airtight container.)


Now onto the soup. This is the tricky part. I actually had to make this twice to get it just right. The problem is, you can't use a normal soup consistency because it's too thin. The stuff you get in a can is thick because it hasn't been diluted. If you don't want the fuss you could still use the canned stuff I suppose, but a lot of times it has partially hydrogenated oils, lots of sodium and other weird chemicals. (Gross!) I was determined to get this right. So this is what I came up with after some trial and error and reading through several suggestions online.


Heat butter in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Saute chopped mushrooms and garlic until tender. Sprinkle with onion powder and white pepper and stir in whole milk. Mix about 2 tablespoons of the reserved broth (or you could use water) with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to make a slurry. Pour into the mushroom mixture and stir until thickened. Make a second slurry if necessary and repeat. Cook until it has the consistency of condensed soup. Season with salt and pepper. If you prefer a smooth soup, transfer to blender and puree. I sort of like the chunky bits of mushrooms for the casserole, so I left it as-is. (Do ahead step: This can be made up to two days ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. Can also be made well in advance and frozen for up to 3 months.)


Combine soup, beans, and 3/4 of the fried shallots together in a bowl and pour into a square casserole dish. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, top with remaining fried shallots and cook another 5 minutes. The result? That same delicious taste without all of the icky preservatives. I will be making a double batch for Thanksgiving. YUM!

Green Bean Casserole (with Homemade Ingredients)

by Jaymee Sire
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Keywords: bake side green beans mushroom shallot Thanksgiving Christmas

Ingredients (1 casserole)
    For the beans:
    • 1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
    • chicken broth, enough to cover beans (about 4 cups)
    For the fried shallots:
    • 3 large shallots
    • 1 cup milk
    • 1/2 cup flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
    • safflower oil, enough to fry shallots
    For the condensed cream of mushroom soup:
    • 2 cups chopped mushrooms
    • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
    • 2 tablespoons butter or oil
    • 1 teaspoon onion powder or flakes
    • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
    • 8 ounces whole milk
    • 1/4 cup cornstarch, divided
    • 1/4 cup broth or water, divided
    • salt (to taste)
    Instructions
    For the beans:
    1. Boil green beans in chicken broth for about 10 minutes. Reserve about 1/4 cup of the broth for later, and drain beans.

    For the fried shallots:
    1. Thinly slice shallots and separate. Soak in one cup of milk for five minutes. Remove from milk and place in a gallon Ziplock bag. Pour in flour, seal bag, and shake to coat shallots.
    2. Heat safflower oil (or other oil with high smoking point) over high heat. Fry shallots (in two batches if necessary) for about five minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and season with salt while they are still hot.

    For the condensed cream of mushroom soup:
    1. Heat butter in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Saute mushrooms and garlic until tender. Sprinkle with onion powder and white pepper and stir in milk.
    2. Mix about 2 tablespoons of the reserved broth with 2 tablespoons of cornstarch to make a slurry. Pour into the mushroom mixture and stir until thickened. Make a second slurry if necessary and repeat. Cook until it has the consistency of canned soup. Season with salt.

    For the casserole:
    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
    2. Combine soup, beans, and 3/4 of the fried shallots together in a bowl and pour into a square casserole dish. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, top with remaining fried shallots and cook another 5 minutes.

    *Make ahead step: the cream of mushroom soup can be made up to two days ahead of time or longer if you freeze it. Can be stored in freezer in air-tight container for up to 3 months. Fried shallots can be made the day before and stored in airtight container. Green beans can also be boiled in the broth the day before.
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    4 comments:

    1. Oh wow this looks delicious - this is my favorite dish for Thanksgiving....I'm definitely going to try it with the fresh ingredients though! Thanks for this post! :)

      ReplyDelete
    2. Jaymee,

      you should apply for the next food network star.
      Best Wishes,
      Randy

      ReplyDelete
    3. Thanks Marianne! Let me know how it turns out. Randy...I wish!!!

      ReplyDelete
    4. Such a lovely homemade variation! It sounds much better with tasty, fresh ingredients...

      -Shannon

      ReplyDelete

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